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Structure of Mafia crime family

A caporegime or capodecina, usually shortened to just a capo, is a term used in the Mafia for a high-ranking made member of a crime family who heads a "crew" of soldiers and has major social status and influence in the organization. Caporegime is an Italian word, which is used to signify the head of a family in Sicily, but has now come to mean a ranking member, similar to captain or senior sergeant in a military unit. In general, the term indicates the head of a branch of an organized crime syndicate who commands a crew of soldiers and reports directly to a boss or an underboss.

Background[edit]

The Mafia, particularly the American Mafia, is typically divided into distinct and partially independent "crews" headed by a "capo" or leader of the individuals. Individual crew members report to the capo. The crew collects protection and other money for the capo, who at regular intervals gives a share (or "taste") of the collected money to the underboss and/or the boss. Estimates of average income of a capo varies and is difficult to quantify. Income is dependent on the success and size of a capo's crew and the state of the economy at the time.

Mafia crews are usually independent from each other, with members typically operating strictly within their own crew. Asking Mafia members how many crews and how many individuals are in a family is prohibited because of the Mafia's oath of secrecy and the suspicion that the inquiring individual might be an informant.

Sometimes a crew might specialize in certain areas like gambling, while other crews might be more involved in legitimate interests like construction. A crew might also operate in certain geographical areas.

The number of caporegimes/crews depends on the size of a family. The Gambino crime family has had more than 20 capos whereas the St. Louis crime family has had fewer.

Operation[edit]

In the Mafia, when a boss makes a decision, he passes instructions down through the chain of command. Whenever he issues orders, in most cases he gives them to the capo. In some cases, he gives orders to the consigliere, who in turn passes them to the capo. In either case, it is the capo who passes them to the soldiers in his crew. For years, this made it extremely difficult to indict a boss for illegal acts, since the soldiers almost never receive orders directly from him. A caporegime acts as an intermediary between the soldiers and the boss. Effectively, a caporegime operates his own small family within the framework of a larger family.

Each capo is in charge of a mini-gang or a crew of soldiers and associates that can range greatly in size. These men may or may not be based in close proximity. For example, Bonanno crime family capo Joey Gambino had crew members spread throughout New York's five boroughs and even had crew members operating in New Jersey. Capos have varying degrees of power. Some are relatives or close friends of the boss, which gives them more influence. A capo with an active crew that generates a lot of profits is always respected. For example, when he was a capo, John Gotti was widely respected and tolerated due to the profits his crew generated for the Gambino crime family. Despite their various blunders and mistakes, they successfully avoided getting killed by their superiors and were tolerated due to this fact. On the other hand, capo Joe Sferra of the DeCavalcante crime family was demoted to soldier and removed from his lucrative union post in June 1965 after a series of blunders. In 1984, a more severe loss of power occurred to Salvatore "Salvie" Testa, a once rising Philadelphia crime family capo. He ended up getting murdered by Nicky Scarfo due to the suspicions raised about his loyalty.

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Capeci, Jerry. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Mafia. Indianapolis: Alpha Books, 2002. ISBN 0-02-864225-2.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caporegime — Please support Wikipedia.
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151 news items

 
American Spectator (blog)
Thu, 14 May 2015 07:15:00 -0700

But then Warren's colleague Sherrod Brown of Ohio entered the fray and accused Obama of sexism against Warren because the President addressed Warren by her first name. Josh Earnest, bearing more resemblance to a caporegime for the Corleone family ...
 
Daily Local News
Tue, 28 Apr 2015 17:14:42 -0700

Franzese went on to become a caporegime (captain of a crew) for the Colombo family in the early 1980s. He organized racketeering schemes hidden among legitimate businesses, making millions for the Colombo family and himself. One such scheme ...

JOE.co.uk

JOE.co.uk
Tue, 28 Apr 2015 10:15:00 -0700

Paul Sorvino, who played feared caporegime Paul Vario, admitted that he was initially shocked by the level of violence in the script and almost left the production. "I never played anything like that - that kind of a lethal character. Three days before ...

Mozzart Sport

Mozzart Sport
Fri, 15 May 2015 08:21:37 -0700

Molinas je uspostavio kontakte sa mutnim tipovima iz podzemlja poput Tomija Rajana, mafijaša čiji je brat bio caporegime njujorške porodice Đenoveze koja je Mariju Puzu bila inspiracija za čuvenu filmsku porodicu Korleone. Šesta lična. Frenk Hogan bio ...

Opinión Bolivia

Opinión Bolivia
Sat, 16 May 2015 21:30:00 -0700

Volviendo a la analogía con El Padrino, Rakitic juega las veces de Rocco Lampone, el nuevo caporegime que Michael Corleone forma secretamente, así lo hace pensando en el futuro, cuando el centro de poder de la Familia pase a estar en Nevada.

Linkiesta.it

Linkiesta.it
Mon, 27 Apr 2015 02:55:50 -0700

«Pauli si muoveva lentamente, ma solo perché non era costretto a muoversi per nessuno», riassume in un'unica frase l'assetto di un caporegime, lo posiziona nell'organigramma e da lì non si schioderà più. Qualche sera fa mi sono imbattuto in Paul ...

Trome

Trome
Mon, 27 Apr 2015 23:56:15 -0700

La guerra de las mafias 'es dolorosa porque la sangre cuesta mucho dinero', sostenía el divertido obeso Peter Clemenza, el 'Caporegime' de la familia Corleone. Fue cuando atentaron contra Don Vito Corleone y su hijo Sonny mandó matar a Bruno ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 15:00:19 -0700

This semi-final has been a long time coming, long enough for a touch of paranoia to creep in. World Cup fever has not quite captured Sydney in the same way that it has overtaken Auckland and the rest of New Zealand. The city is just too cosmopolitan to ...
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